Ever since my Vancouver weekend I have been toying with the idea of performing a cleansing ceremony over my home, and my life. This has been pressing on my heart for a while now. This strange need to lay things out, bare and naked… to air the dirty laundry so to speak. And somehow It has come to me that part of this, cleansing process involves laying out my life… like Catholic confession, with you being my priests. (I must admit all I know about that process I have gleaned from tv and movies)
My girlfriend and I had some very good discussions about life, and letting go of the garbage that holds us back. Discussions about taking control back and taking ownership over ourselves and our lives instead giving up and just existing and hanging our heads in surrender, so that we can survive life, but never fully embracelife.
We have started the GSD Club (the Get Shit Done Club). We have to be accountable to ourselves and to each other. We have to follow through on the things we say we will do. And the thing that pressed down on me was spring cleaning, purging. But on a spiritual and emotional level first and a physical level second.
I have been slowly working on a cleansing plan. It’s interesting cleansing ceremonies are performed by many cultures and faiths. Many of the more orthodox Protestant denominations may bless a new home with prayer and by rubbing anointed oil on door and window frames. And Catholic denominations may do similar but with holy water. But these are rituals of blessing not cleansing. (Mind you I want my ceremony to hold both blessing and cleansing – Sweep everything out, take back anything that belongs but has been lost, forgotten or given away, and then bless what is left). The First Nations perform smudging ceremonies with burning sage and sacred chants. The Hebrews from bible days performed sacrifices to cleanse themselves before they could enter into God’s presence (not to sound horribly ignorant but do they still do that?) and many different purification rituals depending on what has made them unclean. Baha’i and Buddhist faiths have ceremonial hand and face cleansing (ablutions) in order to enter into worship/meditation. Hinduism holds many levels of cleansing. And there are many other forms of cleansing rituals such as visualization, chanting, meditations, singing etc…
It seems that mainstream protestant Christianity does not really embrace any such thing (at least not through my experience or that I can find). Yes there is Baptism, but this is a one time cleansing that symbolises you going into the water as your old sinful personage and coming out of the water as a new creature in Christ, which I think is beautiful, but it is not what I am seeking right now. What I am looking for is something that deals with all the crap you pick up along the way after baptism. I am not a shiny new creature in Christ and haven’t been for a very long time now. And so I’m looking for something bigger than a silent prayer in the privacy of my bedroom. I am seeking something that allows me to throw off all the negative thoughts and energies that I have collected from outside, and to call back all my own energies to myself where they belong. I am seeking something largely symbolic and yet healing. A means to sift through my life and let go of the stuff that is not mine. A way to remove all the residues and echoes living in my home, hiding in my belongings, laying claim to things in my life because it once belonged to someone else or there is an attachment of some sort. I want to let go of the stuff that I have carried that is actually hurting me so I may truly heal. But the mention of such thing to many mainstream Christians instantly provokes a leery response “oh really?” and murmurings about paganism, occultism, new age ideals and/or false religion. The idea that something like this would be desired is treated as “flaky”, and if not dismissed then definitely rebuked.
At any rate, I believe what I believe, and it’s no one’s business but my own, and am feeling a tug from deep inside me that this is something I need to do, for me. So I am working on it. But I am dragging my feet just a wee bit as I am becoming more and more certain that part of it will involve “coming clean” about myself, revealing things about me and that I have done, places I’ve been that I do not share. I am a highly private person – even though I am a talker and do reveal much, my inner core is always protected and hidden. In a way I am masquerading as a highly open person by revealing just enough, and yet the rest is locked away and the key is hidden.
I am not putting myself on a schedule as of yet, but I may have to in order to stop myself from procrastinating. I may be screaming and kicking all the way, but I will get this done. My emotional, spiritual and physical health are dependent upon it.